Wicklow, along with most counties of eastern Ireland, has seen another native red-furred mammal invaded and depleted - but not hybridised - by an alien introduction. The original red squirrels of the island were reckoned extinct by the 1700s, when forest clearance and hunting for their fur had taken the ultimate toll. They were reintroduced from England in the 1800s and spread rapidly, but another introduction - of the American grey squirrel in County Longford in the early 1900s - put their numbers in jeopardy.

Grey squirrels are bigger, more prolific and aggressive, and have dietary advantages over the reds. East of the Shannon, they have come to dominate in mixed broadleaf woods, while the reds still flourish west of the Shannon and in large tracts of conifers. They can, also be seen in some of Dublin's urban parks.

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